WMC’s Nurture & Nourish Retreat

Nourish, verb 1. to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth. 2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc. 3. to strengthen, build up, or promote Nurture, verb 1. to feed and protect … Continue reading

Educate Before You Procreate

I was unbelievably excited when I found out I was pregnant. After being married for only six months I somehow convinced my husband, who was set on waiting at least a year, to try for a baby. “It’s not like … Continue reading

Baby Fever Like Whoa

I’m not going to say that’s the most ridiculous blog title ever (this is the Internet, after all) but it might be its second cousin. And odd appellation though it may be, it’s kind of perfect.

When people ask me “When are y’all going to have another one?!”- which is and has been rather often, since our Single Child just turned 8- that usually ends up in the conversation. “Don’t you have baby fever?”

“I have baby fever like whoa.”

As you can see, I am clearly quite the linguist. But honestly, the silliness of it is appropriate. I experience anamount of baby fever that is just… silly. I’ve been jonesing for more loin fruit ever since our not-so-little one was still wearing diapers and mumbling her own language. I always assumed I’d have my many babies (and I do mean many… I thought I’d have like 5 or 7 or 30 or whatever) between 18-24 months apart (you can’t see it, but I’m lol-ing at the idealism of my younger, stupider self). Yet here I sit, one beeb that will be a teenager in 5 years, and no other beebs to speak of. Five years ago I had a very early miscarriage, and almost immediately went on birth control, a decision that had many factors. I had the Implanon implant for two years, and really enjoyed it. No menstrual cycles to get hung up in, and no possible pregnancies to worry about. I had it taken out a little over two years ago, and pretty much from the moment I had the green light (with a few months hiatus in the middle) it was go-time. We’ve been trying ever since, but with no success. I hate to say it that way… “success”. Like we’ve spent the last decade building a firm foundation for a nationwide company and are now reaping the benefits. It’s not a complicated thing. Unsuspecting teenagers do it often enough that there’s a show or three about it, and in the olden days it was referred to as “falling” pregnant. I am super good at falling, you should see me. How hard can getting knocked up really be, right? Well, the answer is, “way”. It can be way hard. And it sucks.

Against my better logic, I take every pregnancy announcement and ultrasound upload on Facebook personally. If you’re my friend/ relative/ acquaintance from high school, and I’ve congratulated you on your fruitfulness within the last several years, I lied. And I probably made a snarky comment about you to the nearest person when I learned of your condition. Sorry, dude, just bein’ honest. I was not happy for you. Or at least, not at the time. (Probably not ever, but that sounds harsh.) And every idiot out there who engaged in the act of coitus and wound up pregnant, and laments about it or can’t take care of the offspring they have, or whatever, I hate them. Asinine, but also true. Why them? Why not me? God doesn’t think I’m doing a good enough job with the one I got? The Universe felt BootyShorts McSmokes-a-Lot’s genetics needed to be propagated more than mine? Have ya seen my kid? She’s effing adorable. And smart, and strong. What, the Earth doesn’t need another one of her walking around? It’s during existential diatribes such as this that my husband offers me a glass of wine, and I accept, because it’s not like anyone’s getting fetal alcohol syndrome up in here (I just pointed to my uterus).

I  take it to a dark place. I’ve gotten to the point that I can make jokes about it, I can be funny. I can even offer kudos to new mothers-to-be in person without spitting (much). But it doesn’t mean that every fiber of my being doesn’t cry out for a baby every time I see one sleeping or nursing or just being. Or every time I go to one of my mommy groups, and I’m the only one there without an infant or a toddler. It doesn’t stop me from buying that brand new olive green Moby wrap at a garage sale a few months ago. And while time has enabled me to not feel quite so “you’ll see the Lifetime made-for-tv movie about me and my craziness” when I buy something baby related and when inevitably asked if I have a baby/ am pregnant and say no with my big fake smile, it doesn’t keep me from feeling that one day I will actually go insane, carrying around an old cabbage patch doll and trying to breastfeed it. It doesn’t keep me from having to stop typing this several times to keep from getting tears all over my new keyboard. I don’t know if That Point is somewhere I’ll ever be. Maybe this longing, maybe my soul crying out for a baby this long will help me appreciate the baby I do have one day (soon?!), because God knows that as a young mother I took my first for granted. Or maybe it will just make me grow bitter and spiteful, unable to feel anything for any other fertile woman but contempt. Who knows. Guess I’ll just have to see.

We’ve made lots of really great lifestyle changes to up our chances of conceiving. I’ve cut out nearly all gluten and dairy- and honestly feel worlds better for it- as well as tracked my cycles for the last 8 months (they’re crazy, of course), trying to pinpoint the optimal baby-making times. I’m trying to lose weight, which should help, and I’m drinking red raspberry leaf tea daily, which has had a tremendously positive effect on my monthly cramps and the nearly constant ovary pain I was experiencing the rest of the month. There are other things we’re looking into as well, so hopefully we won’t have to go all the way to medical intervention. If we do, however, I’m up for it. Anything short of actually snatching a baby is pretty much fair game. I don’t care how clever and chic Orange is the New Black is, I am not tough enough for lady prison.

If what we’re doing works, you can be sure I’ll be back here gushing and sharing and making you all sick. If not, I don’t know. My post will probably be too salty for the likes of WMC. But hey, that could be fun, too. Motherhood isn’t all about nursery rhymes and loveliness. Sometimes it’s about f-bombs and wine, amirite? But hopefully, fingers and toes crossed, wood knocked upon, candles lit and prayers said, I’ll be back here writing a post entitled In Need of Sleep Like Whoa.

Because I had a baby. And it’s up at night. And I’m tired. Yeah, you get it.

posted by Anna Sites,
Whole Mothering Center Featured Blogger

Judgmental Much?

The past few days have been an opportunity for me to realize just how judgmental some of us attachment parenting types can be. I’ve been working on a business plan for a proposal we’re about to present and have come across several articles and blogs that have shown a whole new light on the attitudes and presupmtions that seem to become an ingrained part of every mother’s psyche regardless of her parenting philosophy. I think part of it is an unspoken need to defend our choices but an even larger part is (as one of the articles I read lately points out) a need to be ‘right’. Most of us have an underlying need for approval and even if we’d never admit it out loud, we abhor being wrong. I’ve watched directors of hugely successful programs (recently) fabricate something rather than admit they don’t know the answer. It’s a symptom of the human condition……..we never think we’re good enough to really be doing the job someone has entrusted us with and we sometimes wonder if we’re going to be ‘found out’ one day.

I don’t think parenting is something that should be approached from that perspective, though. There are very few parenting issues that are strictly black or white and taking a view that only allows you to make decisions from a right or wrong perspective could very well be dangerous.

For example, a good friend and past client of ours had high aspirations during her pregnancy that she would have a beautiful, natural birth and that she would breastfeed her baby for a year or longer and that her parenting experience would be some glorious, natural dreamland. Of course, that was her ideal……what she didn’t expect was that as soon as she got home with her little cherub, she would start having SEVERE bouts of postpartum depression. Not only did she end up bottlefeeding, but she needs medication every day to control her depression. For her, it came down to a choice between living her ideal experience and being sane.

See…….for some of us, there are parenting decisions that are our of our hands. This friend KNEW deep in her soul that she was a breastfeeding mama. In fact, I bet if you’d asked her before her postpartum experience, she might have told you that she was intolerant of anything less. It was a hard decision for her when she finally caved in and walked away from breastfeeding but it was a necessary choice. I think that any of us who might judge her for that are working from a place much more black and white than parenting should be approached from. I personally applaud her efforts to be the kind of mom she needs to be for her sweet baby girl even if it means that she sacrifices some of her dream in the process. She and her daughter will develop a stronger bond and a MUCH healthier relationship for it.

If you’ve got people in your life who parent differently than you do, take a step back today to explore your feelings about it and remember that the ultimate goal in parenting is intact, healthy kids AND parents. Accepting that what’s right for YOUR family might not work for somebody else’s family may very well open the door to friendships you never imagined and a whole world of alternative perspectives. That accomplishes one of two things…..assuring you that you’re headed in the right direction OR opening your eyes to another way of looking at parenting that might prompt you to make positive choices you would never have considered otherwise. Who knows? In the midst of it, you might have the same affect on another mama and make a lifelong friend in the process! 🙂

WMC Doula, Amy Jones